How My Dog Saved My Life

Some of my earliest memories are horrible. As a kid, before my parents divorced, I remember hiding under my desk or behind my door when my father would yell and scream at my mom. Or I would play with my toys, pretending I couldn’t hear it. I remember the crack on the garage ceiling from him slamming the door so often. I remember crawling into bed with my crying mother, offering her my blanket, after my father stormed out of the house.

When you’re just a little girl, you don’t think much of it. So daddy gets mad over the smallest things, so what? So he yells and screams all the time, don’t they all?

And then you get older, and you make friends, and you meet their parents. And you notice that their parents don’t do that. Your friends tell you that their parents are nice. You didn’t realize some fathers don’t yell all the time. Your parents divorce.

And you get even older. You learn that it’s called “verbal/emotional abuse”

And then you want out. You want it to stop, you want to live a normal life. You want to be the kid that isn’t afraid to go home, because you don’t want to be yelled at. You don’t want to live every day in fear of the next time you have to see him, because you know there’s a good chance he’s going to get mad over something. What will happen next time?

But it doesn’t matter what you want, because the courts think they know best. And that means, you will be spending time with him, no matter what. It’s the law.

You fall into a deep depression. “You can choose where to live when you’re 18 years old.” Who wants to live that way for so many more years? I didn’t. I wanted out, but there was no way out. And when I threatened to run away if they made me go there again, they just called the police to my house and forced me to go. They told my mom that if I continued to act out like this, they could just put me in a mental institution. That would be sure to stop me from rebelling.

That was about the point I started to seriously contemplate suicide. Nobody, not even the police, cared enough to help me. I had friends, but I’d never felt more alone. It would be so easy. They’d be sorry when I was gone.

But then everything changed. This dog came into my life, and I fell in love with her. She was not a perfect dog, but she was the perfect dog for me. I had never loved anything as much as I loved her, and all of the sudden I found a reason to keep fighting. I wasn’t going to kill myself – how could I? I could never leave behind this beautiful, amazing creature!

So we waited for three very long years, until I turned 18. I could make my own decisions, I could decide who to live with. And I did just that.

Now, whenever things get hard, when my world starts to fall apart, I turn and I look at this beautiful face. And I know we can make it through. I know that together, we can survive anything.

41 thoughts on “How My Dog Saved My Life

  1. What a lovely tribute to your sweet BC! Dogs are amazing creatures, it’s in the darkest times that I can’t imagine myself living without a dog, despite how crazy they sometimes make me!

  2. Beautiful pictures, gorgeous, lovely dog and you are wonderful. Very well written. I really understand you. I wish you luck and happiness. I like your blog.
    Thank you for visiting my website and feel free to join me on facebook.

    Veronica & Toffeek;)

  3. I commend you on this story, but more for the way you handled your situation. I think puppy now allows you to focus on something external, and that’s very healthy. I know sometimes I’ll just get down on hands and knees sometimes to talk to my Rusty. He’s been a real Godsend, so I do understand what you’re saying here.
    God bless.

  4. If I could like your post a thousand times, I would. This was beautiful and I know exactly what you mean as my situation was almost identical. I am so happy that you liked my post because I traveled to your page to thank you and then boom! – This story hits me in my face. I will be sure to follow your future posts!

  5. You are a brave girl! Your story is unique to you, but unfortunately also very common…You can be an inspiration to many who are in the same situation as you..Maybe the courts should make getting a pet for the kids, mandatory….it helps immensely, I know…

    • Unfortunately I’d be a bit nervous at the idea of pets living in homes where the parents are abusive. My father used to threaten to take Nelly back to the pound(even though he legally could NOT do that, because my mom is the one that adopted her), one time he threatened to do it simply because I hadn’t walked her that day, because I didn’t feel well. That was about the turning point where I went from being scared of him, to simply hating him. Nobody tries to mess with my dog!
      I agree that what I went through is way too common. A lot of people are afraid to speak up, but I’m not.

  6. Wow, what a moving story. I’m so sorry you had to go through what you did when you were younger! Divorce and angry parents can be so scary! I am very glad that Nelly came into your life. I had a German Shepherd come into my life and help me through some very difficult times. Animals are so special and a real blessing. Love your posts and your photos.

  7. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

  8. Such a LOVELY post indeed…We are now following you…Oh, the love in those tiny four paws…Trev has been my super hero, super bear and guardian angel through so much!!!! It’s a pleasure to meet another true animal lover!!!! High paws and happy weekend!!!!

  9. Oh reading this gave me a big punch in the heart. I am so glad you are out of that situation. I definitely relate in the dad department and I want you to know you can always talk to me, I’m on your side 100 percent. I feel really lucky to know you! And Nelly!
    And on a side note, you are an extremely good writer. Holy crap. I just read all your posts on here and…like seriously wow. No wonder people are shocked to learn you’re only 18!
    I love and miss you!

  10. Wow. Your story is really touching. You are brave for telling it. Thanks for sharing it and for illustrating the amazing things dogs can bring to us. Thank you popping into my blog–so glad you did so I could “meet” you!

  11. I first read this post when you liked my blog (thank you very much) and found it touching, I have just read it again and found it inspirational. I have just been forced out of a relationship with a verbally abusive man and this post highlighted what could have happened if we’d stayed together. I’m so glad you got through it. Thank you.

  12. Wow! Very well written, very thought provoking with a very appropriate title. You certainly have a gift…well, actually two gifts – your writing AND your gorgeous BC. Thank you! -Cody’s Dad

  13. so glad you made it through those hard times with the help of your dog. When I was a child, I too found that my dog was my best friend and my protector during hard times. I’m sure the dog must have loved you as much as you loved him. Good luck!

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